Feb 162005
 
Authors: Stephanie Lindberg

DALE LAYER

5th year at CSU, 19-47 MWC, 68-75 overall

Previously coached at Queens University (Charlotte, N.C.)

Career Record: 236-162

CHRIS DENKER

3rd Year at CSU, 20-16 MWC, 51-33 overall

Previously coached at Santa Clara University

Career Record: 92-51

With three weeks left in regular season play, the CSU basketball teams are struggling to keep pace with the rest of the Mountain West Conference and have been subject to recent media attention surrounding their coaches.

The evolution of the site FireDaleLayer.com, directed at the men's basketball head coach, has prompted questions surrounding his position.

The men's team (9-14, 1-9 MWC) kept its losing streak alive by losing 50-49 to Brigham Young on Monday night. The team has lost eight-straight games and has not won a game on the road in 19 consecutive tries.

FireDaleLayer.com is the creation of Nick Eitel, a freshman computer information systems student. Eitel has been a CSU men's basketball fan for years but is not happy with the direction the team has taken in Dale Layer's five years at CSU.

"I started the Web site because I was concerned the fans that were going to the games didn't care about the whole situation," Eitel said. "I wanted to get students interested."

The Web site, which still has areas under construction, presents two letters addressed to both Director of Athletics Mark Driscoll and Layer asking for Layer's resignation.

The site includes a link to FireRonZook.com, a Florida Gators fan site. Florida fired Zook, its football coach, on Oct. 25 after a loss to Mississippi State, though he remained coach the rest of the season, and the Gators finished with a win over Miami in the Peach Bowl.

While Eitel does not doubt Layer's character or commitment to CSU, he feels that the job is not getting done and fan support is waning. The men's team is last in conference attendance figures with an average of 3,146 fans per game.

"Except for the NCAA run (in the 2002-03 season), (the team) hasn't gone anywhere," Eitel said. "I just think the program needs new life."

Eitel said he has heard mostly good things about the site from students.

"Students have been supportive," Eitel said. "It elicits strong comments."

Driscoll told the Rocky Mountain News last week that Layer would not be fired during or at the end of this season, and would return to coach CSU next year.

Women have closed-door meeting

News of a closed-door meeting involving the women's team and several CSU athletics administrators also surfaced last week.

According to an article in Wednesday's Denver Post, 12 of 14 members of the team went to Driscoll with grievances before the meeting was called.

Driscoll told the Post that a review process is going on.

The team held a closed-door meeting on Feb. 8 instead of practicing. After airing out their problems, Denker said the team seems to be back on track.

"Our focus this week in practice has been really good," said head coach Chris Denker. "We've talked a lot about it the past week and I think the girls are all for one and one for all and ready to move on."

The women's team (13-8, 4-4 MWC) has faired slightly better than the men but has lost its last two games and has also struggled on the road.

The women rank second in the MWC in attendance with 2,119.

The women's team is holding onto fourth place in the conference and still has a chance for a decent finish despite a 4-4 conference record.

Sophomore guard Kylee O'Dwyer agreed with Denker that the status of the team is moving in the right direction.

"We're really coming together as a team right now," O'Dwyer said.

The Collegian could not reach Driscoll for comment on either issue.

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